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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Have you ever seen an earwig fly?


Let's revisit the house spider that lives just to the right of my front door. Last time, she had caught a stink bug. Which was a little weird since, while adult stink bugs fly, they don't fly onto the porch often. I figure the drama must have happened at night, with the bug having been attracted to the porch light but getting caught up in the webs instead.

These spiders are noted for their ability to prey upon creatures much larger than themselves that become snared in their messy webs. This time the house spider has captured a large, adult european earwig,
forficula auricularia. These earwigs do have wings, but they seldom fly. A little front porch mystery ensues: The spider's lair is about 6 feet up and 8 feet away from the nearest typical earwig habitat (moist detritus near tasty tender plants). Did this earwig crawl at least that far over vertical and horizontal concrete surfaces to the spider's web, OR did it take a rare chance at flying, only to waste it on an unfortunate meeting with the house spider to the right of my front door?

Meanwhile, the spider has produced an egg sac (recycled stink bug?). More to come as this drama continues.

3 comments:

Cindy said...

Yes, only once. I noticed something flying clumsily across my patio, and when it landed I went to see what it was. I was amazed, having no previous idea that earwigs could fly!

Scott English said...

Just a few nights ago, we had a small bug flying around the dining room table (at dinner time). It flew up to the chandalier then back to the table. Once it landed, we were able to identify it as an earwig, much to our suprise! We had no idea they could fly. We have a loose screen door and it apparently flow through the gap, attracted by the light.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I was just googling "earwig fly" because of an incident I had. I'm scared of earwigs.. and the whole eating your brain bit, so when I saw one on my towel in the backyard I froze, then frantically looked for something to swap it away. But it just crawled around quickly and then stopped and lifted its tail end (or something) and that part started whipping back and forth like wings, but I never saw wings, really. Anyways then it flew up but didn't fly high up, landed somewhere I couldn't see.